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Ramvilas Paswan thanks Nitish Kumar for praise, but says he will be with Congress

Monday, 20 January 2014 - 11:10pm IST | Place: Patna | Agency: PTI

Thanking Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his kind words, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ramvilas Paswan on Monday said his party was with Congress and will go with its decision on alliance.

"I thank Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the respect and kind words. We have been old friends," Paswan told PTI reacting to the Chief Minister's comments earlier in the day.

"There has been differences between us on principles, but never on personal matters," he said on Kumar.

On the issue of alliance, Paswan said LJP was with Congress and will go with its decision on the alliance.

"Congress' decision on alliance will be acceptable to us," he added.

Media reports have indicated Congress' dilemma on whether to go with Lalu Prasad's RJD or Nitish Kumar's JD(U) for the crucial 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, with some reports indicating that a section of LJP leaders was pressing for an alliance with the ruling JD(U).

LJP fought the last Lok Sabha elections in Bihar in partnership with RJD while Congress contested alone. RJD managed to win four seats while LJP drew a blank. Even Paswan lost from his bastion Hajipur. Congress had bagged two seats in 2009. 

Meanwhile, Congress in Bihar today warned Nitish Kumar of reviewing support to his minority government if his comments "hurt" Congressmen.

"If Congressmen felt hurt over comments of Nitish Kumar,we may review our decision for supporting his government,"Congress media in-charge Premchand Mishra said.

Four Congress MLAs had voted for Kumar's government during the confidence vote in June last year after a split in the NDA.

With 118 MLAs of its own, JD(U) government runs on the support of four Congress MLAs, as many Independents and one CPI MLA in the 238-member Bihar Assembly.

On Kumar's overture to Ramvilas Paswan, the Congress leader reminded him of "breaking" LJP by weaning away large number of MLAs in 2005 to form his government.

He said Congress never gave any proposal to JD(U) for alliance, hence the question of accepting or rejecting it by them does not arise. 




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